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Solo Leveling - Chapter 134

Published at 25th of March 2019 09:03:10 AM

Chapter 134

Chapter 134: Chapter 134


 

The moment the ground disappeared and they got sucked into the shadow, Jin-Woo looked at Cha Hae-In falling together at the same time .

'As I thought . . . . '

His expectation was on the money .

He wondered if the skill 'Shadow Exchange' worked in this manner while using it a few times in the past, and he was right .

The identity of the skill 'Shadow Exchange' was actually a 'Gate' . That theory was proven correct when Cha Hae-In travelled alongside him through the shadow .

'The entrance is generated below my feet, and the exit is where the determined coordinates are . '

And those coordinates would be the location of a Shadow Soldier .

Even though there was a limitation of the three-hour-long cooldown time, he was still able to create a Gate with this skill . If he wanted to, then wouldn't it be possible for him to move to the other side of the planet every three hours? Jin-Woo unconsciously swallowed his saliva .

But, his stunned state lasted only for a brief while longer .

His view covered up by the inky darkness reverted back to normal almost right away . And the two of them found themselves inside the Association's gymnasium .

The last time he came here, Jin-Woo left behind a shadow just in case he found himself in an urgent need to visit the Association .

Ting! Ting! Ting! Ting!

The overhead lighting system sensed the magic energy from them and the bulbs came on one by one, brightly illuminating the gymnasium's interior . Cha Hae-In opened her eyes after sensing the brightness through her closed eyelids .

"But, how . . . . . ?!"

Her brows shot up as she failed to hide her astonishment . They were already in a familiar place .

She sensed only about one second passing by, yet the surroundings were completely different when she opened her eyes .

'How is this even possible?!'

She had never heard of such a skill existing in the world . Cha Hae-In looked around in utter amazement before shifting her gaze back to Jin-Woo .

"You . . . . . "

She had so, so many things she wanted to ask, but in the end, she couldn't open her lips to voice any of them .

The first reason for that was because she didn't even know just where to start her questions, and secondly, their distance was far, far too close for a spot of civilised conversation .

"It's safe now, so . . . . "

Jin-Woo lightly grasped her wrists and unwrapped her arms around his waist .

" . . . . You don't have to hold on to me anymore . "

Nod, nod .

Cha Hae-In lightly rubbed her wrists he had grasped and wordlessly nodded her head .

"Okay . Let's get started . "

Jin-Woo walked out of the corner the High Orc Shadow Soldier was probably hiding in, and strode towards the centre of the gymnasium .

"Alright . "

She too followed behind him only to remember that she left her sword back in her car . Although a weapon was an indispensable tool for her trade, it would be quite rude to visit someone else's office fully armed, now wouldn't it?

Cha Hae-In quickly spoke to him .

"I left my weapon back in my car . . . . . "

"Oh, you mean that pickaxe?"

"Excuse me?"

"You know, the one you were carrying around back in the rank A dungeon with High Orcs in it . "

Her face reddened as soon as she remembered a small detail she'd been wanting to forget .

"N-no, my weapon is . . . . "

She then spotted Jin-Woo giggling to himself, and belatedly realised that he was teasing her just now .

" . . . . "

Jin-Woo waved his hand after seeing Cha Hae-In's reddened complexion .

"I was just joking with you . "


Time to stop kidding around, however .

'Seriously, though . What should I do?'

Even if it was Cha Hae-In, she wouldn't be able to fight against the soldier he was planning to summon out . Of course, he wanted his soldier to win, but that didn't mean he wanted to see her get hurt, either .

"It'll be fine . "

Cha Hae-In shifted her gaze towards the storage located within the gymnasium .

"I'm sure there will be a weapon I can borrow in the storage . "

'Oho . '

A light gleamed within Jin-Woo's eyes after learning of something new . She walked up to the storage and diagonally swiped her Hunter licence on the electronic lock found on the side of the door .

That prompted the storage door to automatically slide open .

Rows of not-too-shabby-looking spare weapons were displayed inside the storage . Looking into the interior from a bit of distance away, Jin-Woo was inwardly impressed by the preparedness of the Hunter's Association .

'So, there was even stuff like this inside the Association . . . . '

He wondered where all those high taxes Hunters had to fork out over the years ended up, but it looked like they were being put to good use . Cha Hae-In scanned the displayed items before picking up a sword similar in length to the one she'd been using and exited from the storage .

"I'm ready . "

"Will that be fine? It's not a sword you've been using before, so wouldn't it feel off in your hands?"

Cha Hae-In shook her head .

"It doesn't really matter what weapon it is . Monsters don't care about what weapons Hunters are wielding when they fight us, after all . "

Those were some wise words .

Jin-Woo carried the same opinion as her, so he didn't argue with her there . At the very least, he found her straightforwardness rather likeable .

'So, calling out my soldier is next, right?'

As if to prove that she wasn't joking about being ready, a sharp, focused aura oozed out of her . Against someone like her, any ol' regular soldier would be sliced up into tiny pieces in no time .

That's why, Jin-Woo called for the best card he could bring out under the current circumstances .

'Come out . '

A small portion separated from Jin-Woo's shadow and moved away a couple of steps from him . Then a black knight rose up from the unmoving shadow .

The jet-black armour and the helm; the red plumage attached to the helm, extending all the way down to his waist . The best sword-wielding Shadow Soldier in his army . It was Igrit .

'I told her that I'd be summoning the most powerful guy out, but . . . '

But, he thought that calling out Beru was a bit too much . Before he was turned into a Shadow Soldier, Beru was the terrifying creature that nearly drowned the entirety of Korean team members in the pit of pure terror . Hell, even Cha Hae-In herself almost died from his attack, too .

Jin-Woo couldn't bring Beru out when considering the potential mental shock she could suffer after seeing him again .

As for Fangs, he might end up destroying the gymnasium, so he was excluded . That's why he chose Igrit .

'Yup, at the end of the day, it can only be you . '

Jin-Woo knew he made the right call when looking at the wide, dependable back of Igrit . But then . . . . .

"Mister Seong Jin-Woo . "

Jin-Woo shifted his gaze over to Cha Hae-In .

"What are the conditions for victory and defeat?"

When he heard her icy voice that was cold enough to instantly freeze the listener's heart, his belief began wavering somewhat . Jin-Woo pondered a bit before making his reply .

"Either my summon is destroyed, or Cha Hunter-nim admits defeat first . "

Nod .

Cha Hae-In briefly nodded her head . Then, unsheathed the sword she got from the storage .

She was only holding a simple, plain magic sword one could buy pretty much anywhere, but even then, the aura oozing out of her was still quite incredible to behold .

'Yup, she's definitely strong . '

Jin-Woo could sense it . Her surging aura, after she decided to get serious, was definitely fitting for a woman whose skills were rated as the best even among the rank S Hunters .

Igrit also unsheathed his sword . As a matter of fact, he was now holding a longsword each in his hands . Even then, Jin-Woo couldn't help but think that Igrit would be defeated by her at this rate .

But then . . . . .

'Wait a sec . . . . Didn't she say that it doesn't really matter what weapon it was, right?'


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Jin-Woo recalled what she said just now and a smile floated up on his lips as he asked her for a small favour .

"Can you turn around for a second, please?"

" . . . . . ?"

Cha Hae-In tilted her head for a bit, but didn't complain and turned around as he asked . Using that gap, Jin-Woo summoned the 'Demon King's Longsword' out of his Inventory and handed it over to Igrit .

'Use this . '

By saying that she didn't mind what weapon she used, it could also be interpreted as she didn't mind what weapon her opponent was using .

Having been bestowed a sword straight from his sovereign, Igrit tried to kneel down to express his profound gratitude, but Jin-Woo quickly stopped him .

'I'm telling you, you don't have to stand on ceremony all the time, you know?'

If only Iron could learn half of Igrit's attitude . . . .

In any case, the preparation was done, so Jin-Woo called out to Cha Hae-In again .

"It's fine now . "

She turned around and spotted Igit now holding a brand new sword that crackled with blue arcs of electricity . Which he clearly wasn't holding a minute ago .

" . . . . . . . . "

"Will it be fine if we start now?"

Jin-Woo pretended to not notice anything and asked her if she was good to go .

" . . . . Yes . "

Cha Hae-In, having already agreed to do this, could only say yes again with a begrudging expression .

"Okay then, begin . "

Soon after Jin-Woo signalled the beginning, Igrit swung the 'Demon King's Longsword' to activate its passive ability as his opening attack .

Crack!

A strand of lightning flew in a straight line at Cha Hae-In . She flinched for the briefest of brief moments . But then, like an agile cat, she bent her upper body back and evaded the lightning .

Crackle!!

The wall of the gymnasium was scorched jet-black after getting struck by the stray lightning .

Shudder .

Cha Hae-In righted her torso and sent her sharp glare in Jin-Woo's direction, but he averted his gaze to stare into the distance, still pretending to not notice a thing .

'… . . . . . '

Without saying anything, Cha Hae-In gripped the sword tighter in her hands .

It was right then . Igrit rushed towards her at a frightening pace from her front to heed his Sovereign's order to bring her down . However, she didn't even blink once and also flung herself forward towards her opponent .

***

The office of the Association President, located on the top floor of the main building .

One could clearly see not just other Association buildings but the surrounding scenery when sitting inside this office .

'Mm?'

The Association President was in the middle of going through a report, but then, his gaze abruptly shifted over to the window . There should have been no one inside the gymnasium, but the lights there came on just now .

Goh Gun-Hui tilted his head slightly, before picking up his phone to speak to his PA .

- "Yes, sir?"

"Did someone book out the gymnasium today?"

- " . . . . Sir, I confirmed and no one has booked it today . "

"Is that so?"

Goh Gun-Hui covered the phone's receiver and organised his thoughts for a bit, before speaking to his subordinate again .

"Can you send the CCTV feed from the gymnasium into my office?"

- "Yes, sir . Please hold on . "

Shortly thereafter, the live feed was displayed on the giant TV occupying the entire wall of his office . And that's when he got to see Seong Jin-Woo and Cha Hae-In hugging each other inside the gymnasium .


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" . . . . Keu-hum . "

Stunned by what he saw, Goh Gun-Hui hurriedly coughed to clear his throat . He looked over and over again, but it was definitely those two . He then tilted his head again .

'Did those two people have such a relationship?'

But then again, the very first person Hunter Cha Hae-In searched for when she regained consciousness briefly inside the helicopter was none other than Hunter Seong Jin-Woo .

'It seems that I was very slow on the uptake, huh . '

A content smile spread on Goh Gun-Hui's face as he gazed at the two young people on the TV screen .

Both of them requested for their private information to be protected as soon as they got their rank S licences . Even then, there was not one person in this country who didn't know Cha Hae-In, or for that matter, Seong Jin-Woo .

So, if two such people wished to spend some quiet time together, there would be no better place than the Association's gymnasium after the closing time .

To think, they'd chose a gymnasium as their date venue, quite unlike the youths of today . What a wonderfully wholesome date this was .

Goh Gun-Hui maintained a heartwarming smile and shook his head wryly .

'Yup, being young is indeed wonderful . '

He reached out to the resting phone's receiver and picked it up once more .

"I'm sorry about this, but I want you to switch off all the CCTV feed coming from the gymnasium . "

- "Sir? But . . . . "

"Just say that today was the maintenance day in the records . "

- "I understand, sir . "

The giant TV screen in the President's office showing the CCTV feed switched off as soon as he ended the call . Goh Gun-Hui took one last look at the gymnasium and returned to perusing the report, a grin still etched on his lips .

But, it was then .

RUMBLE . . .

The surface of the water in his cup vibrated softly as he sensed a minute tremor coming from the gymnasium's direction .

"Huhuh . "

Goh Gun-Hui didn't bother to look at the gymnasium and simply carried on smiling .

'Indeed, being young is the best . '

***

'This is . . . . . '

Jin-Woo massaged his aching forehead .

It seemed that he had been greatly underestimating Cha Hae-In's actual skills up until now . Igrit's strength had been boosted overall by the 'Demon King's Longsword', but in the end, he couldn't win against her skills .

Right after Igrit's left arm flew away from being cut, Jin-Woo ended this match .

"Stop!"

Even though they would regenerate back to full, he still couldn't stand the sight of his soldiers getting destroyed .

"Fuu- . "

Cha Hae-In reined in her rough breathing and let out a long sigh . Her opponent must've been tougher than expected, because she was soaked in sweat from head to toe . Her slender, white fingers wiped the droplets of sweat forming on her forehead .

Jin-Woo looked at that with a rueful expression, inwardly accepting his loss today, and called Igrit back .

"It's my loss . "

Shururuk . . . .

Igrit returned back inside his shadow . However, Cha Hae-In spoke directly to him, her hands not letting go of her sword .

"No . Please, this one doesn't count . "

" . . . ?"

What did she even mean by that, out of the blue? Didn't count?

Cha Hae-In explained herself .

"Didn't you say that you'd bring out the most powerful summon?"

Cha Hae-In walked closer and only stopped when she was one step away from Jin-Woo .


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"Was that black knight really your strongest summon?"

She wasn't asking him here . No, it sounded as if she was just trying to confirm what she knew already .

Jin-Woo quietly shook his head . As if she was waiting for that, Cha Hae-In immediately carried on .

"Please call out your strongest summon . We agreed to do from that get-go, didn't we?"

"But, you may get injured . "

"It's fine . I wanted to fight it at least one more time, anyway . "

Jin-Woo's eyes widened from her declaration .

"Wait, you knew?"

Nod, nod .

"I saw the video footage . "

Cha Hae-In had watched the raid video starring Jin-Woo several times by now .

The giant monster that made its appearance during the clip – she definitely remembered seeing that monster shooting out the pillar of flames from somewhere .

"That summoned creature, that was the High Orc Shaman, the boss of that rank A dungeon . Am I correct?"

If that was the case, then the mutated ant monster he hunted down this time would also have become his summoned creature, as well . From the word go, she chose to go through the test while thinking of fighting that mutated ant .

'There is no meaning in a victory like this . '

She wanted to defeat the summoned creature that used the powers of the mutated ant monster, and thereby get Jin-Woo to acknowledge her true value .

He pondered for a little bit, before nodding his head .

'Beru' .

Right away, a Shadow Soldier enshrouded in jet-black smoke rose up behind Jin-Woo . Cha Hae-In instinctively jumped back and created some distance as soon as she saw Beru's entrance .

Back then or now, that guy carried a truly horrendous aura .

Jin-Woo got genuinely worried when all colour drained out of her face and quickly asked her .

"Will this really be fine?"

Even if Beru had gotten weaker compared to when he was alive, this guy was originally a killing weapon born solely for the purpose of eliminating Hunters .

Cha Hae-In's lips were squeezed shut in a straight line, as she weightily nodded her head .

Beru had been staring at her quietly for a while, before lowering his head to whisper a question to Jin-Woo .

'Oh my king . How should I deal with this female?'

Cha Hae-In must've been unable to hear what Beru was saying, because she showed no particular reaction at all .

'Defeat her without injuring her . '

'It shall be done . '

The former king of the ants and the current Shadow Soldier turned towards the deeply tense female warrior .

Gulp .

Cha Hae-In swallowed her dry saliva . She felt goosebumps break out on her skin from the enormous amount of magic energy emitted by her opponent .

'Mister Seong Jin-Woo fought against a creature like this and won??'

Her eyes that showed no signs of hesitation while fighting against Igrit were now trembling greatly . Beru was done with the necessary preparation to follow his sovereign's order, and suddenly, spat out a mighty screech .

Kiiiaaaahhk!!

Blade-like claws began extending out from the ends of Beru's fingers, so Jin-Woo standing behind him sent over an unhappy glare .

'… . Retract the claws . '

The high-spirited Beru immediately retracted his claws . Jin-Woo drilled one more instruction into his soldier's head .

'If you injure that woman, it won't be nice for you, either . Got that?'

'I shall follow your will . '

Only after hearing that definite answer from Beru did Jin-Woo declare the start of the second bout .

"Begin!"

< Chapter 134 > Fin .

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